By Mxolisi Mhlongo
We all know him from his humble beginnings, as he tells it, “Selling wors-rolls outside the club on the streets of Johannesburg.” But little credit is usually given to Oskido’s business acumen and his growth in the music industry over the years.
In 1993, Oscar Bonginkosi Mdlongwa was given an opportunity to play the closing set at the club and sometimes after hours for the staff. During an interview with Morning Live on SABC admitted to have never really had a problem doing this because he didn’t have a place to sleep. He did this consistently until the club owner decided to use him when the resident DJ didn’t show up and thereafter he was employed permanently at the club.
Right after the death of Apartheid, Oskido became one of the pioneers of Kwaito music. This was not just any type of music but rather a movement which was set to influence youth culture in South Africa. At its inception, Kwaito was a mixture of house, dancehall and soul music. Oskido and other Kwaito legends infused all these musical elements into one genre which was different from most political songs which were popular at the time.
Oskido has discovered and natured a lot of artists including Mafikizolo, who he named “Mafikizolo” after they had presented a demo to him and they had a song which had lyrics relating to the name and Oskido suggested they name themselves Mafikizolo. The group has been in the industry for over 20 years and they have been consistent over their craft, winning multiple awards in the country and the continent.
The story of Kalawa JazMee records is nothing but an inspiration to young artist and businessmen. Kwaito veterans Mjokes, Spikiri and Mahoota had been working for a record company called Super Promotions when they decided to start their own record company called JazMee. They later met DJ Christos, Oskido, Don Laka and Bruce Sebitlo who had a record company called Kalawa and they decided to form Kalawa JazMee. The partnership wasn’t as easy and smooth sailing as it sounds though. Do you remember the song Ibize emoyeni? Kalawa had its version of the song and JazMee records also had their own version and there was beef between the two parties until both groups ultimately decided to work together and form Kalawa JazMee.
Ever wondered what Kalawa means? The word ‘Kalawa’ is an abbreviation of full names from the founding founders of the record label namely:
Ka- Christos Katsaitis
La- Don Laka
Wa- Oscar Bonginkosi MdlongWa